Diary Entries in English

Recent diary entries

I think I am not the only one to find this matter confusing. The one clear and authoritative source of information is a pdf, in Russian language and Cyrillic alphabet only: ; it is regularly updated.

There are three columns of codes: */ “civilian” code, usually beginning with ‘У’, which transcribes to U */ “state” airfield, which includes military terrains, codes usually begin with a ‘Ь’ character, which transcribes to ‘X’ */ “international” code, given in Latin alphabet, corresponds to ICAO

Aerodromes of mixed military/civilian use will have the first and second columns filled out; or, if they have international status, all three. UHSS Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is an example.

Thanks to mapper Mazda05 for patiently explaining!

I’ve released a new version of tilemaker, the command-line utility that takes OpenStreetMap data in .osm.pbf format and makes vector tiles out of it.

It’s now between 45% and 85% faster - you’ll notice the difference particularly in places with complex multipolygon geometries. Memory usage is reduced, particularly in the polar regions. Plus it’s compatible with Geofabrik’s new CC0 “Shortbread” schema for vector tiles.

Posted by MapsExpert on 31 March 2023 in English (English).

Yes, I am..i love Geography and Locations.. I churned whole Globe and used GPS from Day1

The GNIS matching project I’ve been working on uses a lot of Overpass queries to find things in OSM. At some point during the project, I needed a faster, more reliable Overpass server than the public servers. So I built a local Overpass server as cheaply as I could. It’s working well. This is how you can build one for yourself.

Why Would I Build My Own Overpass Server?

If you’re using the Overpass API for software development, you’re going to be running a lot of queries. You could use a public Overpass instance, but it’s more polite and a lot more efficient to run one locally. Also, public overpass servers have query limits that you may not like. And sometimes they go down or flake out, and then there’s nothing you can do but wait until the operators fix them. If you run your own server, your fate is in your own hands!

For most use cases, a cheap local Overpass server can be significantly faster than using one of the public Overpass servers. The setup described here is a lot smaller with a lot less computing power than those big public servers. But it doesn’t have the entire world hammering on it constantly. Also, Overpass queries can return huge amounts of data. The network latency and throughput is a lot better on your own local network segment than if you’re downloading results from halfway across the world.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Kumi Systems for hosting the public Overpass server that I abused until I set up my own server. They’re providing a great service for the OSM community!

Do I Really Want to Do This?

Running an Overpass server is not for the faint of heart. The software is really finicky and not easy to maintain. You need to have some good experience with Linux system administration and the will and patience to deal with things that don’t work the way they’re supposed to.

What’s in this guide?

There are four useful guides to setting up an Overpass server, and you should read all of them:

  1. The Overpass quick installation guide
  2. The Overpass complete installation guide
  3. The Overpass API Installation guide on the Wiki
  4. And by far the most excellent of the four, eLonewolf’s Overpass Installation Guide

These four guides describe how to set up the Overpass software. This blog entry describes how to set up the hardware on a very small budget. It also has tips that will make the other four guides easier to use.

Getting the Hardware

Overpass likes to use a fair amount of memory, a huge amount of disk space, and a fair amount of CPU time. We’re going to make some compromises to get a working Overpass server with reasonable performance on a tiny budget. Memory and storage are relatively cheap, so we’ll remove those bottlenecks and your system will end up being CPU bound.

Here are the specs you’re looking for:

  • A PC that can run Ubuntu
  • 16GB of RAM
  • A primary SSD big enough for Ubuntu and some scratch files, 256GB is plenty
  • An unused M.2 slot or PCIe X4 (or X8/X16) slot
  • A DVD-R drive (if that’s what you’re using for the Ubuntu installation)

To that, you’ll add:

  • A 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD
  • An M.2 to PCIe adapter (if needed)

As of early 2023, there are plenty of cheap refurbished Dell desktop computers for sale on Amazon in the U.S.: Start with a cheap Dell and you should be able to get all the hardware for under $200.

If you have options, look for a PC with the most RAM and fastest CPU that fits your budget. You’re going to be looking at computers with CPUs that are few generations behind the latest processors. You don’t have to get the latest CPU, but try not to get one of the oldest ones. As I’m writing this, that means you’re looking at a 6th or 7th gen Core i5 or i7 processor.

You’ll also want some spare hardware around for the setup and backups:

  • A 4GB or larger USB flash drive or a blank DVD-R for the Ubuntu install
  • A 1TB or larger USB drive for backups
  • A monitor with an appropriate monitor cable that you can plug in for the initial setup
  • An Ethernet cable you can plug into a spare port on your hub or router

The cheap refurbished computers on Amazon often don’t have Wi-Fi, but this setup is better with wired Ethernet anyway. If you’re going to use Wi-Fi, add a USB adapter that works with Linux to your shopping list if you need one.

About Network Quotas

The initial setup for Overpass is going to download a couple hundred gigabytes of data for the database. If you mess up, you might have to download the data twice. If you’re doing this on a home network connection, make sure you’re not going to get billed for going over your monthly quota.

After you have the server up and running, the update files are relatively small. So they’re not likely to push you over the limit.

Setting up the Hardware

Dell has nice owners manuals for their systems. Google the model name of your system and “owners manual” and download the PDF file to your daily use computer for reference.

Plug in that cheap computer with the monitor, keyboard and mouse and boot it up. It likely has Windows 10 preinstalled and likely won’t ever run Windows 11.

Give the system a once over to make sure everything looks like it’s working normally, then download the Ubuntu installer. You can choose either Ubuntu Desktop if you’d like to have the GUI, or Ubuntu Server if you’re going to run headless and only login via SSH. Pick whatever you prefer.

Ubuntu has very good installation instructions. Follow them, download the installer image, and burn it onto the DVD or USB flash drive. From there you can boot up the installer and install Ubuntu on your system. I chose to delete the Windows NTFS partition and replace it with a fresh ext4 partition, but you can make other decisions about how you want to manage partitions on your main SSD. Follow the Ubuntu instructions! They’re great!

Check out your new Ubuntu installation and make sure it looks good, including checking out the network connection. If you’re running headless, confirm that you can access the system using SSH.

Power down, and if you’re runnning headless, get rid of the keyboard, monitor, and mouse.

Crack open the case and install the 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD drive, using the PCIe X4 adapter if needed. This is where that owner’s manual you downloaded helps. Most hardware is pretty easy to work on, but sometimes it’s not obvious how to remove the system components to get at the slots on the motherboard. The owner’s manual will show you how to pop out all the parts.

Put the system back together and rack it where it’s going to live permanently.

Now you need to format and mount that new SSD drive. This is a pretty good reference for what you need to do:

You can use a DOS/MBR partition table for the drive, but since you’re starting from scratch, you might choose a gpt partition table instead. This page describes how to set that up in fdisk:

This SSD drive is going to hold your Overpass database, which is huge. So you just want one big partition with an ext4 filesystem.

Once you have that set up, decide where you want to keep Overpass in your file system. ZeLonewolf uses /opt/op, which is as good as anywhere, but you can choose a different location if you like. Create that directory and mount the NVMe SSD there. This is a pretty good reference for permanently mounting the NVMe SSD drive:

Setting up the Software

There are already four good guides to setting up the Overpass software. I’m not going to reproduce them, but I’ll add some commentary.

First, DO NOT BLINDLY COPY AND PASTE COMMANDS FROM THE GUIDES! Take a close look at what each step is doing and make sure the parameters match your setup and your use cases.

Second, NONE OF THE GUIDES (INCLUDING THIS ONE) ARE PERFECT! Read all of them thoroughly to get the best understanding of how to install and manage the Overpass software.

The Overpass quick installation guide - This is really a cheat sheet for someone who already knows how to run Overpass. It cuts a lot of corners and leaves out a lot of things you’re already supposed to know. I wouldn’t suggest trying to follow this guide literally.

The Overpass complete installation guide - This is expanded version of the “quick” installation guide, but it’s also a cheat sheet for someone who already knows how to run Overpass. It still cuts some corners and leaves out things you’re already supposed to know. It’s probably not enough for a first-time user.

The Overpass API Installation document on the Wiki - This is a reference guide that fills in many of the blanks in the “quick” and “complete” installation guides. It’s written more to cover specific cases, so it’s not always linear. But it is a good reference.

ZeLonewolf’s Overpass Installation Guide - This guide covers everything you need to get Overpass up and running, from start to finish, with some good explanation. This guide is set up for one particular configuration, which may or may not be exactly what you want.

ZeLonewolf’s guide is really the only one that’s usable start to finish, but for this configuration there are some changes we want to consider. And there are some places where you might want things to be a little different for your use case or your personal preferences. Going step by step through ZeLonewolf’s sections:

Configure Overpass User & Required Dependencies

ZeLonewolf gets this right where the other guides are missing some important information. Specifically, you must have the liblzr-dev package if your Overpass server is going to index areas. None of the other guides will tell you that.

I like to give the Overpass user a standard home directory in /home and keep the source code and build scripts there, but deploy the software builds to a directory in /opt. ZeLonewolf puts everything in /opt, which is fine. But I find that having a separate home directory keeps things cleaner.

I also put the Overpass user in nogroup, didn’t assign sudo privileges, and didn’t set a login password. This makes the Overpass user account somewhat more restricted, just in case any of the Overpass software components gets compromised.

We already made the /opt/op directory as the mount point for the NVMe SSD, so we can skip that step. My user and dependency setup looks like this:

sudo su

# mkdir -p /opt/op
# groupadd op
# usermod -a -G op user
useradd -d /home/op -g nogroup -m -s /bin/bash --disabled-login op
chown -R op:nogroup /opt/op
apt-get update
apt-get install g++ make expat libexpat1-dev zlib1g-dev apache2 liblz4-dev
a2enmod cgid
a2enmod ext_filter


Of course, you can use ZeLonewolf’s setup as-is or make your own modifications.

Web Server Configuration

ZeLonewolf’s setup is great. Rather than editing the 000-default.conf file in /etc/apache2/sites-available/, I prefer to put an overpass.conf file in /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/ and leave the default example alone.

Since this is your own personal Overpass instance, you can run really long queries. Setting TimeOut to 600 is plenty because it’s hard to keep the rest of the software stack happy for longer than that.

ZeLonewolf configures the full path for the log files, but it probably makes sense to use the ${APACHE_LOG_DIR} prefix.

Compile and Install Overpass

Don’t copy the URL for the Overpass tarball from ZeLonewolf’s script. Either use or browse to the directory and pick the release you want.

Download the Planet

When ZeLonewolf says this will take a long time, he means it! It took me about 7 hours to download a clone of the Overpass database on my 1 Gbps connection. The first time I tried the download was on Patch Tuesday, and the Windows machine I had SSH’d in from rebooted halfway through. That killed my shell on the Overpass server and aborted the download. So I had to start over from scratch. Don’t make that mistake. Use nohup and run the command in the background.

Also, my use case didn’t require attic data. You can adjust the --meta option as you like for your use case.

cd /opt/op
nohup bin/ --db-dir=db --source= --meta=yes &


ZeLonewolf casually says, “Now would be an excellent time to backup your downloaded database folder.” That’s not a suggestion. You don’t want to download the database a third time and bump up against your network quota. Plug in and mount that spare USB drive and make a backup of the database NOW.

ZeLonewolf uses cp for the backup. I like to use rsync. It doesn’t matter so much this time, but it will be better when you want to make an incremental update to your backup later.

rsync -rtv /opt/op/db /media/op/usb-drive/db

Modify that with the right paths for your setup.

Configure Launch Scripts

ZeLonewolf is right that the scripts that come with Overpass are not ideal. He has some good scripts that work for his use case, but I had to make some significant changes for this low-powered server. Here’s what’s going on in that script.

First, Overpass is really finicky about paths and working directories. You always want to start overpass from the /opt/op directory, and you have to have all the directory aliases in this script set up right.

Second, whenever Overpass goes down (or is shut down), it leaves a bunch of shadow and semaphore files around and it will refuse to start up until these files are cleaned up. So, before you start Overpass, you always have to delete these files.

Third, there are several separate processes that make up the Overpass server:

  • The osm-base dispatcher, which is the core process for the server
  • The areas dispatcher, which is used for area updates
  • The script which polls for and downloads changeset data
  • The script which reads the changeset data and imports it into the database

Then there’s ZeLonewolf’s script that runs in a loop, continuously updating the index of areas. That’s a replacement for the script that comes with Overpass and basically does the same thing.

The first change you have to make to the script is to put a sleep 5 command after the startup of the osm-base dispatcher. Apparently there’s a race condition between the startup of this dispatcher and the rest of the components, because if the other components get running before the dispatcher is ready, they get stuck and don’t do anything. That probably doesn’t show up on the high-powered public Overpass servers, but we’re running on pennies here.

To have a healthy Overpass server, you need the script getting regular changeset updates and the script importing them promptly. ZeLonewolf describes this in his guide, but if the updates aren’t keeping up with real time, things get bad fast.

On this low-powered server, the process kicked off by the script is a problem for that. The area indexing is both CPU and I/O intensive and the script runs it continuously. That can get in the way of the regular changeset updates.

There are two changes you can make to keep this from being a problem. First, the ionice and nice parameters in ZeLonewolf’s script give the area indexing more priority than the changeset updates. We want to swap that around.

#!/usr/bin/env bash


rm -fv $DB_DIR/osm3s_v0.7.5*
rm -fv $DB_DIR/*.shadow
rm -fv /dev/shm/osm3s*

ionice -c 2 -n 7 nice -n 17 nohup "$EXEC_DIR/dispatcher" --osm-base --meta --space=10737418240 --db-dir="$DB_DIR" >> "$LOG_DIR/osm_base.out" &
sleep 5
ionice -c 3 nice -n 19 nohup "$EXEC_DIR/dispatcher" --areas --db-dir="$DB_DIR" >> "$LOG_DIR/areas.out" &
ionice -c 3 nice -n 19 nohup "$EXEC_DIR/" `cat "$DB_DIR/replicate_id"` "" "$DIFF_DIR" >> "$LOG_DIR/fetch_osc.out" &
ionice -c 2 -n 7 nice -n 17 nohup "$EXEC_DIR/" "$DIFF_DIR" `cat "$DB_DIR/replicate_id"` --meta=yes >> "$LOG_DIR/apply_osc_to_db.out" &

The osm-base dispatcher and script run at ionice class 2 for best effort, and the areas dispatcher runs at ionice class 3 so it only gets I/O scheduling when the system is idle. The nice values for CPU scheduling line up with this too.

We’re going to take the script out of entirely. Replace it with a script that doesn’t loop, and install it as a cron job. That way we can update the area index less frequently, rather than running it non-stop.

#!/usr/bin/env bash


pushd "$EXEC_DIR"

echo "`date '+%F %T'`: update started" >> "$LOG_DIR/area_update.out"
ionice -c 3 nice -n 19 "$EXEC_DIR/osm3s_query" --progress --rules < "$DB_DIR/rules/areas.osm3s" >> "$LOG_DIR/area_update.out" 2>&1
echo "`date '+%F %T'`: update finished" >> "$LOG_DIR/area_update.out"


This also runs the osm3s_query process for area updates at ionice class 3 with low CPU priority. The osm3s_query process also seems to grumble to stderr, so I’m forwarding that to the log as well.

On a small server like this, re-indexing all the areas takes 2-3 hours. I’m running the area indexing once a day. You could run it more frequently, but I wouldn’t run it more than every four hours.

If you’d prefer to keep the script and not use a cron job, edit the script to change sleep 3 to sleep 1h.

Log File Management

ZeLonewolf tried to use symbolic links to move all the Overpass log files to a single directory, but logrotate really doesn’t like that. Instead, we’ll just leave the logs where they are and rotate them in place. Here’s what the modified configuration in /etc/logrotate.d/overpass looks like.

/opt/op/diff/*.log /opt/op/state/*.log /opt/op/db/*.log /opt/op/log/*.out {
        rotate 3
        create 644 op nogroup

Server Automation

ZeLonewolf has a crontab entry that deletes old changeset files. That’s really important, but it’s possible that the command could delete the replicate_id and state.txt files that are crucial to keeping Overpass running. Let’s keep those files safe. Here’s what the modified crontab entries look like.

0 1 * * * find /opt/op/diff -mtime +2 -type f -regex ".*[0-9]+.*" -delete
0 18 * * * /opt/op/bin/

This is also where I run my area updates.

One thing that’s missing from the Overpass package is a way to bring the server down gently. You can indiscriminately kill all the background processes, but that seems like a good way to corrupt your database.

Here’s what I’ve been doing to bring the server down softly:

  1. Kill the script - this stops bringing down new changsets to be processed
  2. Kill the script - if it was running, the osm3s_query process will continue until it finishes because it was nohup’d, but this will prevent the next pass from starting
  3. Watch the tail of the apply_osc_to_db.log and wait until it’s no longer processing new updates - you can tell because it keeps repeating “updating from”
  4. Kill the script
  5. Watch the tail of the area_update.out file and wait for the “update finished” message - this might take a couple of hours
  6. Kill the area dispatcher
  7. Kill the osm-base dispatcher

At some point I’ll write a shell script to automate all that, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

Performance Verification

This section is crucial for keeping tabs on the health of your Overpass server. If something starts to go wrong, you’ll notice it in the fetch_osc.out, apply_osc_to_db.log, and area_update.out files. Keep tabs on these to make sure everything looks normal.

What if something goes wrong?

If you have Overpass running and it dies, you might have to start over with a clean database. The easiest way to do this is to restore the db directory from a backup. Make sure you update your backups frequently!

If you’re having trouble getting Overpass up and running in the first place, go back to those four guides and look for clues. US users can also try the #overpass channel on Slack.

May your queries be fast and your results accurate!

Projetos disponiveis no maproulette.


Correção de CEP na Região Nordeste do Brasil para o Padrão Brasileiro = XXXXX-XXX / Correction of CEP in the Northeast Region of Brazil for the Brazilian Standard = XXXXX-XXX umbraosmbr’s Project

Correção de Nomes de Rua que foi mapeado de forma errada em todo Brasil. / Correction of Street Names that were mapped wrongly throughout Brazil. Raphaelkaart’s Project

Correção de CEP para o Formato usado no Brasil - Estado de Pernambuco. / Correction of ZIP Code for the Format used in Brazil - State of Pernambuco. Raphaelkaart’s Project

Correção de CEP para o Formato usado no Brasil - Estado da Paraiba. / Correction of ZIP Code for the Format used in Brazil - State of Paraiba. Raphaelkaart’s Project

Correção de CEP para o Formato usado no Brasil - Estado da Bahia. / Correction of ZIP Code for the Format used in Brazil - State of Bahia. Raphaelkaart’s Project

Inclusão de Nomes de Rua em Vilarejo Ponte Branca no estado de Goías - Brasil / Inclusion of Street Names in Vilarejo Ponte Branca in the state of Goias - Brazil. Raphaelkaart’s Project

Correção de Nomes de Rua em todo Brasil / Correction of Street Names throughout Brazil Brasil - Projetos da UMBRAOSM - União dos Mapeadores Brasileiros do Openstreetmap

Correção de Nomes de Rua em todo Brasil - Part1. / Correction of Street Names throughout Brazil - Part.1 Brasil - Projetos da UMBRAOSM - União dos Mapeadores Brasileiros do Openstreetmap

Correção de Nomes de Rua em todo Brasil - Part2. / Correction of Street Names throughout Brazil - Part.2 Brasil - Projetos da UMBRAOSM - União dos Mapeadores Brasileiros do Openstreetmap

Posted by Supaplex on 28 March 2023 in English (English). Last updated on 29 March 2023.

This article is also available in Taiwanese Hokkien / Taigi (台文)

Taiwan is quite a hot topic in the news and geo-political discussion. Recently I read an thead discussing defense plans in the southern part of Pingtong by Taiwan Infantry Command officers on Taiwan BBS PTT military board.

Even though maps are blurred due to the detailed map might have some sensitive military information, it can easily be recognized by the green forest area, that the based maps they use are actually OpenStreetMap. Thanks to the hard-working OpenStreetMap mappers that keep drawing forests in Taiwan.

There are more services, developers, organizations, and even government agencies using OpenStreetMap as based map recently. And the 2023 Taiwan Lantern Festival was held in Taipei, and their website also is using OpenStreetMap as the base map. The community in Taiwan is lazy to keep track of those use cases. We hope there are more interesting OpenStreetMap use cases in Taiwan.

Location: Houwenzi, Jialian Village, Dongang, Pingtung County, 928, Taiwan

Map of Mường Tè ward OpenStreetMap’s forest coverage in Vietnam is not really good, which is a big shame since most of Vietnam is covered in forest. And to add salt to the injury, good data that are suitable for import is practically nonexistent in Vietnam. So… I basically have only two options to improve forest coverage: spend many more months negotiating with the government/organizations for data, or go and map the forest myself. I chose the latter because I’m impatient and crazy.

As the first base of operation, I chose Mường Tè ward, Lai Châu province, the westernmost ward in Vietnam, primarily because that place is really forest dense. The first forest polygon was mapped in 18 March and then deleted, but soon after a really rough forest outline was made. I was careful to not crossover grasslands or rivers (which explains abrupt empty spaces on the map) to avoid making the multipolygons too big and clunky.

Soon after, I mapped other features like scrubs, heaths, farmland, buildings, etc. The more I mapped, the more I feel that the map is missing something. And before I knew it I remembered the name of Mường Tè’s hamlets: Pa Ú, Mù Cả, Xi Nê, Me Gióng, etc., places that are deemed as one of the poorest regions in Vietnam. (A really interesting Vietnamese blog post about Mường Tè can be found here)

In just ten days, I’ve transformed part of the Mường Tè ward’s map from being barebone to be a really lively place, filled with lots of details just like in Germany. And that’s just the work of a single person! If you want to help mapping Vietnamese forest or help with the humanitarian causes in Vietnam, please do consider spending some time and map the forest there. :)

Location: Tó Khò, Mù Cả, Mường Tè District, Lai Chau province, Vietnam

I asked ChatGPT to create an OpenStreetMap Community Building Playbook, this is what it came up with

OpenStreetMapUganda Community


OpenStreetMap (OSM) is an open-source project that relies on the contributions of volunteers to create and maintain a free and editable map of the world. To build a strong OSM community, it is important to create a framework that promotes engagement, inclusivity, and collaboration. This playbook outlines key strategies for community building that can help OSM communities thrive.

Define your community’s vision:

The first step to building a strong OSM community is to define your community’s vision. What is your community’s mission? What are your goals and objectives? What values do you want to promote? Clarifying these key elements of your community’s identity will help you attract like-minded individuals and organizations.

Identify your community’s strengths and weaknesses:

To build a strong community, you need to understand your community’s strengths and weaknesses. What are your community’s assets? What skills, knowledge, and resources do your members bring to the table? What are your community’s weaknesses, and what are the areas where you need to improve? Identifying these factors can help you develop a plan to build on your strengths and address your weaknesses.

Establish clear roles and responsibilities:

To ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals, it is important to establish clear roles and responsibilities for community members. This can include defining the roles of community leaders, project managers, and volunteers. Clarifying these roles and responsibilities can help prevent confusion and promote accountability.

Foster communication and collaboration:

Effective communication and collaboration are critical to building a strong OSM community. Set up communication channels, such as mailing lists, forums, and chat groups, where community members can share ideas, ask questions, and collaborate on mapping projects. Use tools like GitHub to manage code and project documentation, and organize regular meetings or virtual hangouts to facilitate face-to-face interactions.

Promote inclusivity and diversity:

Inclusivity and diversity are essential to building a strong OSM community that reflects the diversity of the world we live in. Take steps to ensure that your community is inclusive and welcoming to everyone, regardless of their background, experience, or identity. This can include creating safe spaces, establishing codes of conduct, and providing training on issues such as unconscious bias.

Encourage learning and skill-sharing:

OSM is a constantly evolving project, and there is always something new to learn. Encourage learning and skill-sharing within your community by organizing training sessions, workshops, and webinars. You can also set up mentoring or buddy systems to help new members learn the ropes, and create opportunities for experienced mappers to share their knowledge and skills.

Recognize and celebrate achievements:

Recognizing and celebrating achievements is an important part of building a strong OSM community. Celebrate milestones such as completing a major mapping project, hitting membership targets, or contributing to global mapping events. Recognize individual contributions, such as the completion of a challenging mapping task or the development of a new tool or application.


Building a strong OSM community requires a combination of vision, strategy, and hard work. By defining your community’s vision, identifying your strengths and weaknesses, establishing clear roles and responsibilities, fostering communication and collaboration, promoting inclusivity and diversity, encouraging learning and skill-sharing, and recognizing and celebrating achievements, you can build a community that is engaged, inclusive, and committed to the ongoing development of OSM.

What do you think is missing, share in the comment section

As a first timer in Albay, I didn’t know what to expect from the Pista ng Mapa and State of the Map Asia 2022. However, as an OpenStreetMap (OSM) enthusiast, attending this event in person was something that I had always looked forward to. The opportunity to network with fellow OSM enthusiasts not just locally but internationally, connect with fellow youth mappers leaders around the Philippines, and travel with my students made this event a great experience.

The opportunity for networking was one of the highlights of the gathering. I had the opportunity to interact and get to know OSM followers from around the globe. Finding out about their exploits and how they used OSM in the various nations they hailed from. It was beneficial for me to be able to discuss ideas and pick up new skills from them.

The opportunity for student attendees to network with other youthmappers from different areas of the Philippines was another important aspect of the event. Meeting other young people who shared enthusiasm for mapping and were in charge of their own mapping initiatives in their various towns was wonderful. We were able to share our challenges, successes, and life lessons in addition to learning from one another.

It was a great bonus that I could go to the event with my students. They had a wonderful experience learning about OSM’s advantages and possible uses for their research and enhancing their own local communities. They had the opportunity to participate in a variety of lectures, workshops, and other activities that advanced their understanding of OSM and its possible uses.

The event was great overall, and the activities offered fascinating insights into the OSM communities around the globe. I appreciate the chance to participate, and I hope to have more opportunities like this in the future.

Posted by SomeoneElse on 25 March 2023 in English (English). Last updated on 28 March 2023.

The new forum “” has been going for a while now, so maybe it’s useful to have a look at how things are going.

There’s obviously lots that goes into creating that forum as a site where people can share ideas - there’s the forum software itself, and the people looking after the technical administration of the site, the migration of the old forum (which has just happened) and the help site (planned for later), the various implementation decisions that got us to here, and also the people looking after content moderation (which is more actively managed than before). Of all of these, this diary entry is really only about the Discourse software itself.

I’ll not comment here about the future migration of to Discourse and the work required within Discourse to support that, since it would be unfair to judge something that has not happened yet.

Full disclosure - I’m one of the moderators of a couple of categories in the forum, but this is very much a personal view.

What’s good:

The software is actively maintained, unlike the old FluxBB forum software, or OSQA, which is used for the help site.

It’s working! Some communities that might have been a bit quiet or spread over private forums are now able to talk together much easier than before.

Searching works, with some caveats around the UI (see below for that). This may sound obvious, but mailing lists search at for example talk-gb can be a bit of a pain to use - a page such as this only shows the subject and the name of the poster, not the date of the message.

You can avoid “me too” answers (but see “reaction icons” below).

There’s a translate button on every post that supports the most common languages. This reduces the “echo chamber” effect that some forums had previously (and some other OSM channels still do now).

For browsing and reading, most things work on mobile. Initial login is slow, but it works (usually, eventually). It’s certainly better than OSQA which is not at all easy to use on mobile and needs a lot of zooming in and zooming out.

The barrier to entry is much lower than e.g. Telegram. If you have an OSM account, you can log in. You don’t need to e.g. provide a mobile phone number to a third party that you do not necessarily trust.

You can do most things by email (with caveats). See here and here. Email threading was nonexistent in received emails before a recent Discourse upgrade, but this has now been fixed.

You can automatically upload pictures without needing a separate hosting site (unlike, say, mailing lists).

You can use tags as “virtual categories” and post using them. It’s a bit complicated, and new users are never going to figure it out on their own, but it does have the potential to be a useful feature. This is a virtual “United Kingdom” category below “general” and this is a virtual Garmin one.

What’s bad:

The Site layout is poor. shows a couple of massive icons, some verbiage and half a dozen links (three on mobile). The remaining 40-odd forums (where most people hang out) are “below the fold” and in no particular order. See also here for more about that.

The forum structure is quite limited, although this may be an implementation decision. Replying by email can cause issues with quoting - depending on the email client, sometimes all of the previous messages is quoted again.

Composing messages on mobile (Firefox) is challenging.

The moderation approach is somewhat restricted by the tools available. When something is reported various messages and numbers are shown but it is not at all clear (except from experience) what applies to the person doing the reporting and what to the person reported. Also, some moderators have complained that they can’t do what they expect to be able to (i.e. not what they were able to do on the old forum).

I know that computer systems tend not to be, but it does seem to be random in places. What one user sees does not match what another user sees.

Pages are slow to load. A 4-second load time (even on a mobile phone) over a fast Internet connection in 2023 is simply ridiculous. See here for more.

It sounds basic, but it’s not possible to see who a reply was to. This is particularly a problem by email, where persons A, B and C reply. If C replies to B there’s nothing (even on the web UI) to indicate that. If B’s reply to A wasn’t visible by email (perhaps because of a local email filter) then it looks like C is replying to A. I mostly work around this by, where relevant, always quoting a bit of message to reply to - that way it’s obvious. See also here and here.

Although searching mostly works, the UI around searching is pretty “user hostile”. To see this, go here and press ^f (normally an in-page browser search) and that keypress is intercepted by Discourse and you are shown “find in topic” instead, which “simply doesn’t find” lots of text. Try searching for “persistent and stable” and it’ll say “no results found” Then browse to here and scroll up a bit, and you can see that that text exists. You can click on it to see the posts, but you can’t search for it. You can press ^F twice and search within page, but because Discourse doesn’t send the whole page to the browser, that search does not work from the top of the page - it’s well into “chocolate teapot” territory. See also here.

The back button does not work.

Users find minimum post length annoying.

The reaction icons are very limited - high on emotion, low on feedback. There is no “vote down” option, which will be essential for “help” migration. There is also no “that’s a really useful comment but I don’t agree with all of it”.

What’s just ugly:

The documentation is piss-poor. See also here for another example of functionality that appears to have been designed under the influence of recreational pharmaceuticals. There’s an about link (which says who the admins and moderators are) and an FAQ (which seems primarily concerned with etiquette guidelines). There is Discourse’s searchable “meta” site (which is good, but you are only going to look for it if you know that such a thing is likely to exist).

The best documentation we have seems to be this which is an introduction to Discourse for OSMers by OSMers. It’s written in German, but you can translate it using Discourse’s built-in translation button..

The upstream release process is a mess. Normally new versions of computer software are “released”. In mid-January a more appropriate zoo analogy would be to say that Version 3 of Discourse “escaped”.

Edit: Link to here removed as that issue is now fixed.

Edit 2: A couple of extra “good” points added - picture hosting and virtual categories.

Location: Lunyo Estate, Katabi, Virus, Entebbe City, Central Region, Uganda

English below

À l’ordre du jour de la prochaine réunion publique du Board de l’OSMF, le jeudi 30 mars 2023, il est prévu de statuer sur la demande d’utilisation du trademark OSM par la « Fédération des Pros d’OSM - FPOSM », une association française qui regroupe des professionnels et des entreprises travaillant autour d’OpenStreetMap. Cette demande est liée au fait que cette structure professionnelle (dont le site web est accessible ici) intègre OpenStreetMap dans son nom.

J’ai eu l’occasion de discuter avec certains membres de cette fédération et exposer également mon point de vue lors d’une réunion du Conseil d’administration de l’association OpenStreetMap France. Les réponses des membres de la Fédération peuvent se résumer à «  Nous pensons que c’est la meilleure manière de faire avancer les choses », mais sans avancer d’argument valable. Je pense que le nom de cette structure (et non ce qu’elle représente ou cherche à faire) constitue une erreur et une source élevée de risque à deux niveaux :

  1. Du point de vue du projet OpenStreetMap, il mettrait fin à une ligne claire au niveau de la marque déposée OSM, qui jusqu’ici n’autorise l’emploi d’OpenStreetMap et ses dérivés que pour des projets faisant la promotion d’OSM en excluant les structures à visées économiques. Avec un tel précédent, il est probable que des demandes similaires émanent d’autres structures économiques (certaines moins bien intentionnées), ce qui ouvrirait un régime d’exceptions géré au bon vouloir du board de l’OSMF, en fonction de sa composition. L’idée actuelle de faire de cette fédération un chapitre local (cf. les notes de la discussion interne et non publique du board du mois dernier) brouillerait encore plus les cartes entre activités volontaires et professionnelles et ne manque pas d’interroger, s’agissant d’une structure existant officiellement depuis novembre 2022 seulement. Le projet OpenStreetMap n’a rien à y gagner.

  2. Du point de vue des écosystèmes OSM locaux (dont la France ne serait qu’un premier exemple qui se reproduirait ensuite ailleurs), il introduirait la concession (et d’autant plus si elle est assortie d’un statut de chapitre local) un monopole de l’utilisation de la marque déposée OSM sur un territoire à une structure économique. Celle-ci n’est d’ailleurs pas qu’une structure de représentation, mais peut légalement mener en propre des projets, avec un avantage certain vis-à-vis des clients potentiels. Les structures économiques locales devront-elles se ranger derrière une seule fédération accréditée par l’OSMF ? Verra-t-on des fédérations concurrentes se mettre en place ? Quelle sera la marge de manœuvre des acteurs indépendants ? La question du territoire se pose également : en effet, le nom proposé ici couvre tout le champ économique francophone, c’est-à-dire des pays répartis sur plusieurs continents, alors que cette fédération ne compte dans ses membres que quelques structures économiques françaises.

Pour le bien du projet OpenStreetMap, je réitère mon conseil aux membres de la fédération d’opter pour un nom ne nécessitant pas l’octroi du trademark, donc ne comportant pas « OSM » dans son intitulé. Le sous-titre visible sur le site web (« Des expertises françaises, OpenStreetMap en commun ») suffit à faire comprendre l’objectif de la fédération. Du côté de la Fondation, la manière d’appréhender le sujet par le Board me laisse particulièrement songeur, disons même atterré, et semble malheureusement dans la continuité des errements relevés par Christoph Hormann sur l’exercice 2022.

On the agenda of the next public meeting of the OSMF Board, on Thursday 30 March 2023, it is planned to rule on the request for use of the OSM trademark by the “Fédération des Pros d’OSM - FPOSM”, a French association of professionals and companies working around OpenStreetMap. This request is linked to the fact that this professional structure (whose website is accessible here) includes OpenStreetMap in its name.

I had the opportunity to discuss with some of the members of this federation and also to present my point of view during a meeting of the Board of Directors of the OpenStreetMap France association. The responses from the members of the Federation can be summarised as “We think this is the best way to move things forward”, but without putting forward any valid arguments. I think that the name of this structure (and not what it represents or seeks to do) is a mistake and a high source of risk on two levels:

  1. From the point of view of the OpenStreetMap project, it would end a clear line in the OSM trademark, which so far only allows the use of OpenStreetMap and its derivatives for projects promoting OSM and excluding economically oriented structures. With such a precedent, it is likely that similar requests will come from other economic structures (some less well-intentioned), which would open up a regime of exceptions managed at the whim of the OSMF board, depending on its composition. The current idea of making this federation a local chapter (see here the notes of last month’s internal, non-public board discussion) would further blur the line between voluntary and professional activities and is questionable, given that this structure has only officially existed since November 2022. The OpenStreetMap project has nothing to gain from this.

  2. From the point of view of local OSM ecosystems (of which France would only be a first example that would then be reproduced elsewhere), it would introduce the concession (and all the more so if it is accompanied by a local chapter status) of a monopoly of the use of the OSM trademark on a territory to an economic structure. The latter is not only a representative structure, but can legally carry out projects on its own, with a definite advantage vis-à-vis potential clients. Will the local economic structures have to rally behind a single federation accredited by the OSMF? Will competing federations be set up? How much room for manoeuvre will independent players have? The question of territory also arises: indeed, the name proposed here covers the entire French-speaking economic field, i.e. countries spread over several continents, whereas this federation only has a few French economic structures among its members.

For the sake of the OpenStreetMap project, I reiterate my advice to the members of the federation to opt for a name that does not require the granting of the trademark, thus not including “OSM” in its title. The subtitle visible on the website (“French expertise, OpenStreetMap in common”) is enough to make the federation’s objective clear. On the Foundation’s side, the way in which the Board has approached the subject leaves me particularly puzzled, let’s say even dismayed, and unfortunately seems to be a continuation of the failings noted by Christoph Hormann on the 2022 exercise.

Translated with (free version)

Posted by conifermapper on 25 March 2023 in English (English).

New mapped area🌍🌲3-B435911-161-D-429-C-A8-F5-7244-BC8-AA094

Location: Terrapadedda, Santu Diadòru/San Teodoro, Nord-Est Sardegna, Sardinia, 07052, Italy

Last March 4, 2023, the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines YouthMappers celebrated the Open Data Day 2023 with the theme “Empowering AI and Mapping with Open Data: A training-workshop on RapID”. We are very proud to have received a $500 grant from the Open Knowledge Foundation this year to organize Open Data Day 2023. With 40 participants, the training workshop was a tremendous success, and it was encouraging to see that more than half of the attendees were female. img1

Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. Groups from around the world create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities. This year’s theme is “Open Data to AI”. With the theme “Open Data to AI” we aim to seek how open data is playing a critical role in the field of AI/ML and other emerging technologies.

  1. What does the path from Open Data to AI look like?
  2. How has aII been used or can be used to tackle world-pressing issues?
  3. How can open data and AI illustrate the urgency in various subcategories like climate change, budget transparency, ownership, mapping, and many more?

We have invited Mikko Tamura, the Regional Community Manager of the Open Mapping Hub - Asia Pacific to talk about Mapping, Open Data and AI. Mikko Tamura virtually led the session while the lead organizers facilitated the training in-person. The goal of the training workshop was to give participants an understanding of the possibilities of open data in the context of AI. The Rapid Editor tool, a mapping tool developed by Meta, was the main focus of the workshop. The Rapid Editor tool’s ability to enable users to import and analyze data from various sources makes it especially helpful for working with open data.

img2 img2

The fact that there were more women than males among the participants is evidence of the growing interest among women in open data and AI. Because they are underrepresented in the tech sector, women can learn about cutting-edge innovations at occasions like Open Data Day. img3 img3

In conclusion, this event was a great accomplishment for our organization. The training-workshop was timely and relevant that they can use it for their studies and research. We are looking forward to host more events like this in the future. Great thanks to Open Knowledge Foundation for this very rare opportunity.

Location: Barangay 24, Poblacion, Consolacion, Cagayan de Oro, Northern Mindanao, 9000, Philippines


  1. Find a video on the OpenStreetMaps YouTube channel.
  2. Download the audio of a talk.
  3. Run it through OpenAI’s Whisper.
  4. Send the transcript and the source URL to somebody in the OSM Community who has ownership over the OSM YouTube channel.

While you may be able to automate this, I don’t know how to do so.

What you need:

  1. GPU (possibly NVIDIA, don’t know). 5gb vram (gpu ram). This might mean RTX 2060 or newer.
  2. Strong cooling and noise isolation through building design.


  1. Electricity will create some cost as transcription is hard. Do note that it is still less then the amount needed to power on and train a normal human being on the same task for several years in addition to the quantity of humans needed to get the same throughput.
  2. This will result in wear and tare on your drives and other components.
  3. This will make your computer and room warm in the summer. You need great cooling or the ability to use the excess heat for something valuable.


  1. Install to assist updating.
  2. Install whisper gui frontend by Grisk with Itch.
  3. Download audio from a talk (not saying how).
  4. Plug it in and get the result.
  5. Send the URL of the talk and the transcript to unknownPerson who runs the OSM YouTube Channel in a standard format.

Sample format for an email

Hello noun, This email is to submit a transcript.

talk: model: whisper medium


  1. I have yet to coordinate with
  2. Human transcript writers are great and needed. They are in short supply. Let us reduce the net demand. They can save their energy for high seriousness legal and medical environments.
  3. Maybe the built in YouTube transcript does the job well enough. This might not be worth the effort. I don’t know.
Location: Bloomington, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Posted by b-unicycling on 21 March 2023 in English (English). Last updated on 26 March 2023.

About a fortnight ago, I went on a walk/ hike starting in the village of Tullahought, Ireland. There were two milk churn stands in the village which caught my eye, because they were restored and used as decorations and to tell the history of dairying in the area, on a small scale anyway. Tullahought milk churn stand, Author: A.-K. D., CC0 Wikicommons Tullahought milk churn stand, Author: A.-K. D., CC0 Wikicommons

Milk churn stands were used in Ireland (and elsewhere, of course) up to roughly the 1970s. The dairy farmer would leave their full milk churns on them, and someone from the creamery would do their round and pick them all up. They would return the empty churns or churns with skimmed milk in them, sometimes also leaving other purchases from the creamery like flour. It is possible that the milk man left smaller churns on the stands in other countries (judging from photographs of milk churn stands in other countries).

milk churn stand in Poland, Author: MOs810, CC0 Wikicommons Milk churn stand in Poland, Author: MOs810, CC0 Wikicommons

They were thus something like a trading post. Some of them also have post boxes nearby, so they seem to have been something of a community point of the village or on a crossroads/ junction. Some in the UK have the name of the nearest farm on them. However, I don’t know if that is a more recent use for them.

Since I’m always looking for new topics for my YouTube channel, I took a picture of one of them (also for the WikiLovesFolklore photo competition) and decided to make a video about milk churn stands.

I checked taginfo for “milk churn” and “churn”, just to find no results, so it seems I’m the first person to map them. Rather than using the somewhat controversial historic key, I went with man_made, similar to things like piers, for example. For the video, I used these two examples from Tullahought, because they were the only ones I had consciously come across. I knew I had seen more milk churn stands travelling Ireland, but I had never taken any pictures, unfortunately. The Tullahought Tidy Towns group seemed happy enough to have their village mentioned in the video and to have been tagged. I usually try to find someone local to tag with the video to grow the awareness about OpenStreetMap, but I don’t think it reaches enough people. I have to keep on trying, though.

After the video went online, I also checked on Wikicommons and found a very large number of milk churn stands in the UK represented, many of them with coordinates. I spent a day trying to figure out where exactly the milk churn stands were, using the context in the photographs and sometimes mapillary to find the exact location. It was quite a bit of fun detective work. In some cases, the Bing satellite imagery was so good that I could actually see the somewhat small milk churn stands on them. I continued with some in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Germany. It was very interesting to see the different “architectures” of milk churn stands which clearly had something to do with the climate and the size/ weight of the milk churns.

milk churn stand distribution

I have since spotted two more in Ireland and added them. Hopefully, there will be more. I’ve talked to former dairy farmers who remember the collectors going around picking up the churns. This is really an interesting part of the mapping process, I find. I’m learning a lot about the past and people’s lives by looking at these seemingly random things I add to OSM, and of course, other people get to think and talk about them as well, as long as my little “obsession” lasts. Because I think that one of the reasons why there were no photographs of milk churn stands in Ireland on Wikimedia is that Irish people just take them for granted and don’t think about them much. I don’t know how to explain why there are so many from the UK represented, maybe people in the UK have a very different attitude to OpenData. Then again, I could only find two in Germany on WikiCommons. I don’t know how many survive in Germany, but I’m told there are thousands in Ireland surviving.

I think it would be interesting to have more of them as a dataset, because it shows former dairying activities. (Some/ many farmers have given up dairying since the 1970s and focus only on meat production.) I would also be interested in their distribution throughout Europe, to see in what climate zones they were used.

milk churn stand in Iceland, exact location unknown, Author: Roger Goodman, CC0 Wikicommons milk churn stand in Iceland, exact location unknown, Author: Roger Goodman, CC0 Wikicommons

It would also be nice to have milk churn stands displayed on OSMAnd or other apps used by hikers, because you see more of your surroundings when you walk, and you’re more likely to notice them. And some hikers from the city or non-dairy countries might wonder what these strange platforms are. Obviously, they are not a priority to have mapped, but I think they have their place on the map, or at least some maps, just like other disused features.

milk churn stand in action, found on Pinterest Milk churn stand in use near the creamery in Llandyrnog, Wales, found on via Pinterest

The tag is documented on the wiki since I added the UK ones.

It is a pity that no examples from France and the Netherlands are to be found on WikiCommons, but maybe none are surviving. I can’t find a decent translation of “milk churn stand” into French either, so I don’t even know what to look for.

Location: Pollrone, Tullaghought, The Municipal District of Callan — Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland
Posted by chris_debian on 21 March 2023 in English (English). Last updated on 22 March 2023.

What’s the problem (Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF))?

See my original post, here:

Hi, everybody!

Motivated by the state of roads in the UK, I’m wondering if anyone is aware of any Open Source/ crowdsourced efforts to assess the condition of surfaces, and then to map them?

I’m aware of lower cost LIDAR equipment, and I believe that some Apple phones have a LIDAR capability.

I’m thinking of something like Mapillary/ Kartaview. Sensor imagery could be gathered, and then scored appropriately, so severity could be seen. I’m thinking that a 100mm pothole on an unclassified and little used road/ lane, would potentially be of less interest/ lower priority than a 50mm pothole on a major motorway/ autobahn/ freeway.

Obviously, potholes are just one example, other immediate possibilities are subsidence, wear and tear, accident damage.

I’d be keen to hear any thoughts/ feedback. Please add to this page, if you can.

Many thanks, Chris chris_debian UK

What can we do about this?

Road damages create comfort-, environmental- and security problems. Existing measurement technologies are very expensive and can only be used rarely. With smartphones you can measure often or in remote areas.

Regarding ‘mapping potholes’, I expect this to be a layer applied to OSM, not data contained within OSM. It will be open source information, for people that can use it. My thinking being that OSM isn’t a repository for other data, but it can help us gather data, and we may be able to give back to OSM.

What has already been done, by whom?

SmartRoadSense (seems to be broken), github and APK

Roadroid map

Kucai noted: “There was a blog post featured in weeklyOSM a while ago about measuring surface smoothness with a smartphone attached to a bicycle, using the vibration sensor. German post: Supaplex030’s Diary | Smoothness-Ermittlung über Vibrationsmessung mit Smartphone und Fahrrad | OpenStreetMap 1 English translation: 1 I’d love to see this in an app”

How can OSM benefit form this?

IRI (International Roughness Index) Road quality/ smoothness index info can be used ‘Smoothness’ tag. Possibly ‘Surface’ tag?


Other Beneficiaries?

hfs noted crowd-sources all kinds of problems. Potholes is one of the categories.

Where do we go from here?

  • No further action, archive only.
  • Capture requirement; prioritize MoSCoW; does a solution already exist? (I haven’t got one)
  • Something else.

What is needed (Requirements capture)? (MoSCoW)

  1. Open Source
  2. Push Reporting
  3. Volunteers?
  4. Map to indicate surfaces not already mapped (like OpenStreetCam/ Kartaview does (and Mapillary, which I believe is now closed source (Facebook. Meta)) and to indicate current position.
  5. Colour scheme showing age of last survey (Eg, if mapped in 6 months, one colour, if never mapped, or older than 6 months, then another, or no colour.). Do we need to aggregate the last 3 surveys, for better results?
  6. Suitable for different vehicles, eg car/ truck/ bike
  7. Supported platforms/ repositories: Play Store/ F:Droid, IOS?
  8. Do we need to re-invent the wheel, or can we build on existing code?
  9. API: Roadroid have already written an API, but this may not be released as Open Source (CHECK) and SmartRoadSense
  10. Github?
  11. Technical debt/ backlog?
  12. What features exist in software, already? Are they important to us; should we plan to implement them?
  13. Where will any data be hosted? GDPR, etc.
  14. Agreed format for reporting- SmartRoadSense have already done some work on this
  • LATITUDE, the latitude coordinate at the center of the section of the road where the roughness value has been estimated
  • LONGITUDE, the longitude coordinate at the center of the section of the road where the roughness value has been estimated, IRI International Roughness Index
  • PPE, the average roughness level of the road section
  • OSM_ID, the ID of the road in the OpenStreetMap dataset
  • HIGHWAY, the road category according to the OpenStreetMap classification
  • UPDATED_AT, the last update of the data for that particular road section

Periodic updates- Both maps and Open Data are updated every 6 hours. Each new update differs from the previous one just by the data points associated with roads that have been traveled in the last 6 hours. The remaining part of the dataset stays the same.

Supporting Information

Sample rates? Simon270 speculated- What sampling rate is required/frequency range is of interest? It would be nice to not have to log vast amounts of data but instead do FFTs of a suitable duration (e.g. 1s) and log the relevant spectral content.

Matheus Gomes

IRI International Roughness Index

I was a co-founder of a start-up that does something similar as Roadroid. Basically we can get accelerometer data from a smartphone to convert to IRI (~road quality index), so road managers can plan maintenance accordingly. I don’t work there anymore and I don’t know the current state-of-the-art on this matter, but what I do know from experience is that these values are not perfect, but it does work nicely providing an overall of road quality (excellent, good, bad, extremely bad). Some road agencies were (2 years ago) using this kind of technology, on a pilot basis. I am not aware on any road agency using this as a replacement of traditional surveys, nor letting their contractors do that. On the OSM side, while this excellent/good/bad/extremely bad information can be directly related to the smoothness=* tag, I am not sure if this info can be maintained on a regular basis. For example, on these apps their usually divide the surveys into segments (like 20 m/100 m/1 km segments), so one has to group or split (unlikely) that to fit the OSM road segments. Probably it can be done programmatically, trying to create something that matches OSM data, and feed it constantly. Not sure what you guys think about it, but this is something that cannot be easily done on my point-of-view.



For example, on these apps their usually divide the surveys into segments (like 20 m/100 m/1 km segments), ideally they would align to OpenStreetMap way divisions so that we don’t have to split but it still would be a burden for mappers mapping “manually” because they would not know how to deal with it on way splits –

There is a really amazing video (Turkish with English subtitles) from Dr Uçum on the critical role that OpenStreetMap data has played in ensuring high quality public health programming in one of the tent cities for displaced people in Turkey as part of the earthquake response.

The video was originally published by Yer Cizenler.

Have also pasted below the English translation (thanks, once again, to Yer Cizenler) …

Well, hello everyone. I’m Doctor Mehmet Faruk Uçum.

I am the responsible physician in the largest tent city in Kahramanmaraş the KAFUM tent city. It is also known as New Ataturk Park and Kahramanmaraş Fairgrounds.

Here, as the responsible physician, I provide coordination in terms of health, we have set up the family health tent and we continue to vaccinate there. I also do public health work in the field.

During this process, with my friends in the OpenStreetMap community and my friends in Istanbul, we worked together and as a result of this work, we created a map.

I used this map especially during the vaccination process to find out which tent was where, because we really lacked data in this regard. We didn’t know the location of the tents, or which number was where, so we were not able to navigate to the right tents.

Recently again, I have used it to inspect and verify alleged scabies cases within the tents. I have, for example, some tent numbers that are said to have scabies but some of them may be seen wrongly or it is possible that the wrong number is given to us but I found them on the map and took the necessary action.

In public health, we used it again to identify outbreaks… the focus of outbreaks, that is. After marking the tent numbers on the map, we determined which areas had problems, especially for acute gastroenteritis, for example. Again, if there is a problem with viral rash diseases tomorrow, this map will be used for isolation and quarantine activities.

The authorities have asked me for this map I was using and I gave it to them, and they used it to plan the power lines that needed to be installed for the lighting in the tents. The army has used it for public order and it is also used for logistics.

If I am able to complete it during my stay here, we will try to use it for emergency referrals.

So, we used this map for every kind of planning you can think of… for health, for administration, for public order, and it was really one of the most important things I could have done here.

For this, I thank the OpenStreetMap contributors very much, I thank the community very much, I’m glad you exist.

Thank you very much. Take care of yourselves.

Ruben Martin and I discuss recent highlights and what’s coming up in the humanitarian open mapping community.

What’s covered this week in brief?

Syria & Turkey earthquake response // Activations in Malawi and Ethiopia // International Women’s Day catch up // Bolivia YouthMappers // Mapping journeys to impact // Ruwa project completion // What’s coming up? // Mappy quote of the week

What’s happened this week?

Syria / Turkey earthquake response: The Turkey / Syria earthquake activation continues to progress — tasking manager projects are being finished off and and the validation is catching up. ~ 9,000 mappers have contributed over 2 million buildings and more than 83,000 km of roads so far. We also published this blog to try and provide insight into where the data is going and what it is being used for

There is also this brilliant testimony from Dr Mehmet on his use of OpenStreetMap data for public health programming in the tent cities where people displaced by the earthquake are housed.

Activations in Malawi and Ethiopia: Additionally, the OSM Malawi community has activated to support the data needs for responders following Cyclone Freddy in Malawi — you can support them with mapping, here. OSM Ethiopia are also still mapping in response to the drought and food crisis in Ethiopia, which is drastically affecting people in the region of Oromia — you can contribute here.

International Women’s Day: There was loads of stuff to catch up from from International Women’s Day this week, too… My recommendations…

Encourage you to watch and listen!

Bolivia YouthMappers: Really enjoying following the YouthMappers UMSA chapter from Bolivia. They seem to be on such a roll; developing connections and collaborations, flying drones and doing lots of mapping!

Mapping journeys to impact: Excited to see the insights start to emerge from Rubén’s conversations with people and organisations that have been using open map data for flood resilience, and advocacy for improved services and planning for communities in informal settlements. The goal is to try to expose the knowledge, tools and support that people trying to solve similar challenges need to give them the motivation and means to use open mapping and OpenStreetMap to take action.

Ruwa project completion: Lastly, the closing event of the Ruwa project, which focuses on open mapping and access to water in Niger, is taking place this week. There are trainings, sharebacks and lots more planned by the Open Mapping Hub — West and Northern Africa and their partners. More to come, soon!

What is coming up?

The OSM Africa mapathon is this month focusing on Namibia and hosted by our friends from the Shack Dwellers Federation and OSM Namibia.

There is also a Community Working Group webinar coming up in a couple of weeks, focusing on the women’s participation in OpenStreetMap research mentioned in last week’s weeknotes. Morte details to come!

Mappy quote of the week:

There are so many this week (the recordings and podcast above are full of them!), but this one is from my colleague, Nama (HOT’s regional director — Asia Pacific) and taken from his appearance on the geomob Turkey & Syria earthquake response podcast episode

“OpenStreetMap is a great project and disaster after disaster we continue to demonstrate that we can work together to produce something useful for people on the ground!”

My appreciation goes to the national coordinator and Team mentor, Mr. Sunday N. Victor for showing up to welcome and up board the new team leaders of LionMappersTeam Nsukka campus. we look forward to your community volunteerism, contribution, and impact.


Location: Enugu East, Enugu State, Nigeria

Thank you Daniel Akor for an amazing job, hosting the Orientation and training of new team leads of LMT-Nsukka.

Look forward to their most active participation with Unique Mappers Community Nigeria as well as university community engagement at UNN